2022 marks 30 years since the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics were first developed and adopted at UNECE. The United Nations Statistical Commission adopted these principles in 1994 at the global level. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) endorsed the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics at policy level in 2013; and in January 2014, they were adopted by the General Assembly.
The principles underlie everything that the producers of official statistics do: from the methods for collecting, processing and storing data to the ways that statistical offices disseminate statistics and communicate with those who use them. By marking this anniversary, statistical offices across the region are recognizing the continued and increasing importance of the Principles in guiding what they do. Thirty years on, they remain a collective manifesto for serving society with impartial, relevant and accurate information to guide decisions.
From January to June 2022, the Conference of European Statisticians has celebrated the Fundamental Principles through a series of country-led communications campaigns telling a shared story about the importance and impact of each Fundamental Principle on society and everyday life and why they matter.
We bring together here many of the materials, experiences and examples that countries, organizations, members of the statistical community and users of statistics prepared as part of this joint celebration.
Evidence, in the form of data and statistics, is essential for formulating and monitoring policies. But we don’t just need any old evidence. If we are to be sure that we are making sound decisions, we need to be able to have faith in the soundness of the figures we rely on. This is where the Fundamental Principles of OfficialStatistics come in.
I am immensely proud to say that these Principles, now a General Assembly-endorsed global standard, were created right here in our region by a UNECE body.
For those of us tasked with guiding and monitoring the progress of countries as they tackle the big challenges of our time—climate change, population ageing, sustainable urbanization, transitioning to a green economy—the value of comprehensive and trustworthy information cannot be overstated. I, like many others, depend every day on information produced under the umbrella of the Fundamental Principles to understand what is happening across the region as we all strive to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. It is for this reason that supporting our member States to improve their statistical systems is one of the central, powerful goals of the organization I lead.
I firmly believe, therefore, that the Fundamental Principles must and will remain at the heart of official statistics for another 30 years and beyond, as the shared foundation of an informed society.
I invite all countries to respect and uphold the Principles, and to strengthen and support official statistics producers to that they are empowered to fulfil the Principles to the maximum extent.